Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Childhood Christmas in Sweden -- Advent

     In churches all over the world, Christ's coming is anticipated on the four Sundays of Advent (ad'vent) n. [< L. ad, to + venire, come]. In Sweden we have special Advent candle holders for four candles, one for each of these Sundays. For me as a child, anticipation began when the first candle was lit on that first Sunday. My family was not religious in a church-going sense, but we celebrated the birth of Christ and it was both a joyous and a serious time. The spirit of Christmas arrived at our house with that first candle and in the coming weeks we were getting ready for our celebrations on Christmas Eve.


     The Advent Calendar, with all its little windows to be opened one for each day leading up to Christmas, was part of the excitement. In Sweden, it is also a custom to hang a golden star, made of paper with tiny holes and with a light bulb inside, in a window on the first Sunday in Advent. Stockholm in December is a dark place with few hours of daylight and I remember how lovely it was to see all the stars shining bright in the windows of the city.

     I'm glad those of you who read about my childhood Christmases in Sweden were happy to have me post them again. Last year, there were four very long posts, plus some Tuesday's Treasure posts as well. So I have a lot of material that I can split up and, hopefully, entertain you with. I am very busy with some things that have nothing to do with Christmas, but rather to do with paperwork.  Two more trips to Bakersfield -- one for a lab appointment and then a dental appointment in town. All I want to do is stay HOME!!!  But I am trying to take it all in stride, just sort of resenting all this going on when Christmas is coming. 
     Soldier is doing really well. He has been off all medicine for a while now. My vet has been on vacation but will be back this week so I can discuss what's next. Soldier is probably back to having his original back and hip problems that do not seem to hurt him, but make him walk funny. The injury he sustained when Samson threw him in a hole (boy that sounds terrible, but it is what happened) seems to have healed. He is as happy, lively, whiny, and excitable as ever. 


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16 comments:

  1. i like the idea of the paper star lit from within hanging in the windows. :)

    so glad soldier is back to 'normal'! hurray!!!

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  2. These are very interseting posts--I'm enjoying them!

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  3. I love the Advent and some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories are of opening the Advent Calendar. I'm glad Soldier continues to improve! Merry Christmas Season to you

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  4. I like the candle thing. Haven't done an advent calendar since the last child grew up. They always enjoyed them!

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  5. So hard to hear all this going on when you love the Christmas the way you do...take each moment as it comes and smile!

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  6. I enjoy reading about your traditions. Odd, but I never knew about Sweden being dark this time of year.
    Great news about Soldier. Was hoping for an update.

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  7. We use an Advent cabinet with little drawers to open each day.

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  8. Christmas in Sweden sounds beautiful. I'm so very glad Soldier is doing well.

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  9. We had an advent calender growing up -- with three sisters, it was always a bit of a tussle as to who got to open the little window each day! :)

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  10. Hey Inger...it doesn't look like we are going to make korv this year. Appreciate you spreading the word about Swedish traditions.

    So glad Soldier is doing better.

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  11. I grew up with an Advent Wreath every year. It was something that literally brought the whole 'crew' together around the table for a few minutes.

    Good to hear that Soldier is on the mend.

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  12. Great news about Samson!

    Your display looks very pretty :-)

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  13. Our church is studying the advent and lighting the candles each Sunday during service. This is a first for us. Enjoying it.

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  14. I like the idea of lighting a lantern in the window too. I think your Christmas celebrations were a wonderful way to ring in the season of hope.

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  15. Those sound like beautiful traditions!

    Glad to hear Soldier is doing well.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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